Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Screamales: A Hazy Retrospective

Hello all. I've decided to try something new within the established Kittens in Ties format. The goal is to write reviews on things ... all sorts of things ... in the form of flash fiction based on my memories of said thing. This week's review is of a concert I recently experienced: Screaming Females at Queen City Hall. We'll see how this goes ... 

Power chords ran through his veins like demented gerbils psyched out on pharmaceuticals running through an infinite loop of tunnels encased in a glass cage. He could feel the dissonance of the guitar solo inching up his spine, and it was only 7:30, several hours before the show would even start. These were feelings drawn by expectations, already bobbing his head up and down amidst the rhythmless soundtrack of street noise. It would do for now. He knew the songs well enough that he didn't need musical accompaniment to get amped up. Instead, he needed only silence ... his mind would provide the rest.

Of course, now was not the time for premature headbanging. Now was a time for action.

"Where is it?"
"I'm not sure. I've never been before."
"Queen City Tattoo, right?"
"Queen City Hall."
"Well, there's a Queen City Tattoo. Maybe, that's it."
"Let me ask someone."

Who to ask? He couldn't be sure which of the people around could speak English or which might attempt to stab him. Come now, don't be racist. Could a black man be racist? ...he felt racist even posing the question.

"I'll just go check out the tattoo place."
"Let me just ask someone."

Him? No, too dirty ... her? She looks dressed for a punk show ...

"Found it," there's a silence, "I told you so."

Photo Courtesy of Dallas Distortion Music
Fast forward, past the Beastie Boy house music playlist that made him tear up, past the awkward fumbling around the venue trying to get a feel for this new location, past even the local band that prepared him for aural assault ahead; fast forward to that opening drum fill into that first riff, to the first time he bobbed his head to  physically present music that evening. He could hold her in his hand, separated only by a mic stand and the music, yet the shredding ... don't use "shredding" like some sort of jackass ... but the way she played that guitar, as if no one else could, not like she could,  overshadowed her diminutive stature, and her voice, that voice, tearing through his soul. There was no choice but to dance. Were the others dancing? The woman in the wheelchair beside him bounced around, and the drunk dudes beside her did the same--with, perhaps, a little more energy. Fist pumping abounded!

This was not a time for social anxiety, for an acute sense of self-awareness. No, this was a time to shed one's neurosis and let the drive of the rhythm section move you. He was moved ... there was movement ... he could still feel it on the ride home, the ringing in his ears. He'd invest in ear plugs if he weren't so adamantly opposed to a purchase so unpunk, choosing--from here on out--to living as punk a life as possible.

On the way home, he ran a stop sign. Baby steps.

Check out the Screaming Females. 

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